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M-S recording mics

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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:43 pm

solaris wrote:
John Willett wrote:No - AKG is not really AKG anymore - first it was Harmanized and now it's Samsung.

I am not sure what to say about that. My 414's work great and they had a good review on SOS. Maybe it is the newer mics. I don't have enough knowledge about this....

Hmmm... It's certainly the case that the Harman empire -- now absorbed into the Samsung empire as JW says -- closed the original Austrian AKG production and R&D facilities... so JW's concern is that the manufacturing quality and the design of future 'AKG-badged' products will potentially not be as good as the legacy products. To be fair, though, it's far too early to tell...

...And C414s have always been very good studio workhorses, even if the different versions have brought different qualities and characteristics...

The AKG C 391 B is an old mic I think. 1-2 decades. It is strange that no one has any experience with it.

I have some experience of the Blueline series... it's basically a moderate-cost modular system with electret capsules. They're not in the same ballpark as the MKH mics, or Schoeps etc... but provided they are handled with care they can deliver serviceable results. The quality is not bad, although I found them a little noisier than similar-sized higher-end mics but that's unlikely to be an issue if you're recording relatively close sources.

Modular mics generally tend to be less reliable than fixed-capsule mics, but the CK capsules have an impedance converter built into the capsule itself, so the bayonet connection operates at low impedance, which is a very smart engineering move, improving reliability considerably.

Maybe I should buy two large capsule mics?

The MS technique is one stereo configuration where large-diaphragm mics can be used without compromise -- the typically poor off-axis response is far less significant in this application than in, say, an XY array.

As Sam suggests, your C414s could be used as an MS array very easily and effectively... been there, done that, very happy with the results! :-)
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:44 pm

Wonks wrote:Not any more it seems. No fig-8 capsules listed on their web site

I think it is the KA800 capsule Sam is referring to. Around £350 the last time I considered it... and I think it's only available to order...

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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:47 pm

Just wondering how you can order it if you don't know it exists! There is a thing as being too esoteric for one's own good. :headbang:
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:48 pm

Puts me in mind of the Python's Cheese Shop sketch.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:52 pm

Well... it maybe that it's not even available to order anymore... It was never a big seller...

The problem is that the demand for fig-8 capsules is still vanishingly small.

That's why Sennheiser are so reluctant to produce the 8030 equivalent of the MKH30, for example, much to the annoyance of a lot of professional recording engineers... but 'a lot' is a still tiny number that barely makes it worth the manufacturer investing in the tooling costs to make the damn thing!

...and so small-diaphragm fig-8 capsules are rarer than hen's teeth... and true single-diaphragm SDC fig-8 mics ever rarer than that!

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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby MOF » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:37 pm

It's not surprising given their quality, longevity, rarity on the S-H market, and new prices.

I bought my MKH 30 & 60 pairing in 1992@ and they’re still going strong.

Re the OP I bought a Neumann KM184 for work (small and lightweight) two can be had for £1k@, if you don’t need MS facilities.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Arpangel » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:16 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:MKH30/MKH8040 user here - but you don’t state what model of C414 you’re using. There’s a considerable difference between models.

Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

Bob

Also, you don't "have" to use a cardioid for the mid mic, an omni gives interesting results, if you have one laying about just experiment.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby solaris » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:10 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

Ok that is good to know. I have two AKG C414 XLII, which I very often use as an M-S pair. I will try to use my NT5 for the mid and see what happens. It is not that I am not happy with the AKG's it is just that I am expanding to a larger studio and I wanted two M-S pairs.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:As Sam suggests, your C414s could be used as an MS array very easily and effectively... been there, done that, very happy with the results!

I definitely agree with that. They are my main mics and I use them like that most of the time.
I thought that maybe if I get smaller mics it would be easier to position. And maybe the natural figure of eight pattern would offer an advantage but I am changing my mind now.

And that takes us to.....
John Willett wrote:IMHO, if you want AKG you buy Austrian Audio - that's where all the good AKG people are now.

What is the deal with those mics? I read the SOS article and they seem very interesting. The whole story of the 20 something original AKG people making their own mics sounds intriguing. I could extent my budget for those since they have more uses in the studio. Has anyone used them?

Arpangel wrote:Also, you don't "have" to use a cardioid for the mid mic, an omni gives interesting results, if you have one laying about just experiment.

Yes I agree with that and it is working very nice in my space (quite dead sounding). I was thinking that since the Austrian Audio OC808 can record both capsules... someone could do the Omni-Figure of 8 M-S with only one mic. Right?

Sounds almost too intriguing to resist :bouncy:
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Arpangel » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:27 am

solaris wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

Ok that is good to know. I have two AKG C414 XLII, which I very often use as an M-S pair. I will try to use my NT5 for the mid and see what happens. It is not that I am not happy with the AKG's it is just that I am expanding to a larger studio and I wanted two M-S pairs.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:As Sam suggests, your C414s could be used as an MS array very easily and effectively... been there, done that, very happy with the results!

I definitely agree with that. They are my main mics and I use them like that most of the time.
I thought that maybe if I get smaller mics it would be easier to position. And maybe the natural figure of eight pattern would offer an advantage but I am changing my mind now.

And that takes us to.....
John Willett wrote:IMHO, if you want AKG you buy Austrian Audio - that's where all the good AKG people are now.

What is the deal with those mics? I read the SOS article and they seem very interesting. The whole story of the 20 something original AKG people making their own mics sounds intriguing. I could extent my budget for those since they have more uses in the studio. Has anyone used them?

Arpangel wrote:Also, you don't "have" to use a cardioid for the mid mic, an omni gives interesting results, if you have one laying about just experiment.

Yes I agree with that and it is working very nice in my space (quite dead sounding). I was thinking that since the Austrian Audio OC808 can record both capsules... someone could do the Omni-Figure of 8 M-S with only one mic. Right?

Sounds almost too intriguing to resist :bouncy:

Isn't it the OC818? And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make ust one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:45 am

Arpangel wrote:Isn't it the OC818?]/quote]

Yes.... but it's not the only multi-pattern mic with dual outputs to access each side's capsule separately. The Lewitt 640TS and the Sennheiser MKH800 Twin are other examples.

And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make just one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?

You can get 'stereo' from the one mic, but the options are very limited.

The mic contains back-to-back cardioid capsules. If you access them separately you have a stereo output of sorts: XY cardioids with a 180-degree mutual angle... That will give two stereo recording angles (mirrored front and back) of around 110 degrees. But the mic obviously has to be placed side-on to the intended main source, so everything is going to be massively off-axis... which ain't gonna be good on a large diaphragm mic!

The Lewitt and Austrian Audio mics can be controlled to provide adjustable stereo width through Mid-Side processing, but exactly the same effect can be achieved with any stereo-width plugin.

There are some situations where back-to-back cardioids might deliver a useful stereo sound stage. Ambient effects recording is, arguably, one.... But it's not really a ,lot of practical use in more conventional music recording settings. A true multi-capsule stereo mic is a lot more versatile, and two separate mics better still...

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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Arpangel » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:03 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Isn't it the OC818?]/quote]

Yes.... but it's not the only multi-pattern mic with dual outputs to access each side's capsule separately. The Lewitt 640TS and the Sennheiser MKH800 Twin are other examples.

And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make just one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?

You can get 'stereo' from the one mic, but the options are very limited.

The mic contains back-to-back cardioid capsules. If you access them separately you have a stereo output of sorts: XY cardioids with a 180-degree mutual angle... That will give two stereo recording angles (mirrored front and back) of around 110 degrees. But the mic obviously has to be placed side-on to the intended main source, so everything is going to be massively off-axis... which ain't gonna be good on a large diaphragm mic!

The Lewitt and Austrian Audio mics can be controlled to provide adjustable stereo width through Mid-Side processing, but exactly the same effect can be achieved with any stereo-width plugin.

There are some situations where back-to-back cardioids might deliver a useful stereo sound stage. Ambient effects recording is, arguably, one.... But it's not really a ,lot of practical use in more conventional music recording settings. A true multi-capsule stereo mic is a lot more versatile, and two separate mics better still...

H

This is what I suspected, I couldn't work out how back to back would give useful stereo for music.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:25 pm

solaris wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

Ok that is good to know. I have two AKG C414 XLII, which I very often use as an M-S pair. I will try to use my NT5 for the mid and see what happens. It is not that I am not happy with the AKG's it is just that I am expanding to a larger studio and I wanted two M-S pairs

OK. I find the XLS to be more neutral for acoustic instruments. You could consider a Line Audio CM4 - nice flat mic.

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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby solaris » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:53 pm

Arpangel wrote:The mic contains back-to-back cardioid capsules. If you access them separately you have a stereo output of sorts: XY cardioids with a 180-degree mutual angle... That will give two stereo recording angles (mirrored front and back) of around 110 degrees. But the mic obviously has to be placed side-on to the intended main source, so everything is going to be massively off-axis... which ain't gonna be good on a large diaphragm mic!

Not the XY, but the Omni-Figure of 8 M-S.
The mic side-on to the source as an omni for the Mid, and as a figure of eight for the side.
It could work no?
Hmmm... now that I think of it maybe it wouldn't. But you see where I was coming from.
That an omni and figure of eight could make an M-S But the omni needs not to be facing sideways for it to work I guess.

Arpangel wrote:Isn't it the OC818? And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make ust one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?

In this mic there are two outputs for each cardioid side so the polar pattern can be changed after recording.

Bob Bickerton wrote:OK. I find the XLS to be more neutral for acoustic instruments. You could consider a Line Audio CM4 - nice flat mic.

That is a fascinating suggestion. I record mostly acoustic instruments with the 414's which we both have. How does a mic like CM4 compete with a mic that is 7 times more expensive for this application?
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:22 pm

solaris wrote:The mic side-on to the source as an omni for the Mid, and as a figure of eight for the side.
It could work no?

Yes... but with limitations, as I mentioned above. The XY equivalent is -- and always will be -- a pair of back-to-back cardioids. The only control you have is over the resulting stereo width and there is also no front/back discrimination. Also, any central sources are as far off-axis as you can get, so their sound will be relatively coloured... which is rather ironic given that one of the main reasons for using the conventional MS technique is to ensure accuracy of tonality for central sources!

To be blunt, this stereo application is much more of a gimmick than a useful tool. The real benefit of these mics with individual capsule outputs is in allowing post-production control of the polar pattern.

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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby solaris » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:18 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:To be blunt, this stereo application is much more of a gimmick than a useful tool. The real benefit of these mics with individual capsule outputs is in allowing post-production control of the polar pattern.

Thank you for your bluntness. :D Always an honor to accept your help.
It would have been nice if it worked...

Never the less does anyone have any experience with those mics?

I need to buy 2 good quality multi pattern mics. Maybe it could be them.
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